Most homeowners agree that adding an outdoor deck is not a casual or minor proposition. Sure, the surface is outside the home—but it’s still a part of the home. Not only do you want the deck to look seamless as a part of the house, you actually want the deck to improve and beautify the home. That’s when you know your contractor has done well, and given you something that not only increases your enjoyment of being at home, but the actual value of your home as well.
All that’s to say—choosing the right contractor is important. The average homeowner spends around $7,000 building a new outdoor deck—that’s a lot of cash. An investment like that is not something most homeowners take lightly. So when it comes to choosing a company to put these investment dollars to work, you want to make sure to do things right and not cut any corners.
In terms of making the best possible decision, it always helps to know what to avoid. If you know the warning signs of a disreputable or shoddy contractor, you’ll be able to find the best outdoor deck builders in your area by process of elimination.
Here are four things you’ll generally want to avoid when researching a company to build your new outdoor deck:
What’s better than being able to visit a showroom and see the craftsmanship with your own eyes? Reputable builders understand the importance of this investment, and they want prospective clients to have absolute confidence in their craftsmanship and experience. When an outdoor deck builder has no showroom, you have to rely on photos or promises—and you probably want to rely on more than that when you’re investing thousands of dollars.
Unclear fee structures
Many homeowners have fallen prey to companies who hit them with surprise charges when job is finished. This is one of the worst things that can happen when you’ve budgeted so carefully for this investment. If a deck builder cannot provide dependable estimates and follow through accordingly (complete with a written contract in which the fees are clearly stated), you might be looking at potential trouble.
It’s always important to know what past clients have thought of a deck builder’s work, and whether they’re truly happy with the results. Contractors should be able to demonstrate any number of positive testimonials—especially from third party review sites like Houzz, Google+ and Yelp.
Disorganized web sites with no photo galleries
If an outdoor deck builder cannot provide a clear, well-organized web site to showcase their work, how great can their work actually be? A primitive and disorganized web site may be a sign that your outdoor deck will turn out in a similar fashion if you hire this company. Also look for clear, well-defined photographs of finished projects. Without these, you’ll have even less confidence in the company’s abilities.
Moving forward with your outdoor deck
Once you’ve found a reputable deck builder who checks all the right boxes and gives you confidence in your investment, it’s important to plan carefully and have all your questions answered. If a company becomes impatient or seems disinterested in your questions and concerns, you might want to look elsewhere. This is a big investment and there are companies out there who are equipped with the talent, skill, experience and customer service to make your outdoor deck project and absolute success.
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